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August 29, 2013

Skin Typology

Our skin can generally be classified as one of three skin types: normal, oily, or dry.  Beyond this rudimentary understanding of skin types, remember that your skin is an evolving organ, and you should assess it regularly.  Having said that, you can understand skin on a basic level of understanding these three categories of skin types.

Normal, oily, and dry skin are the three most generally recognized skin types and can also encompass skin conditions such as sensitive skin, which are not be confused with the generality of sensitive skin as a skin typology.  There is no such thing as a consistent skin type and that just like the season, your skin is ever evolving and shedding as it reacts to environmental and internal stimuli.

If your skin presents as normal, this means that you have an even, monochromatic skin tone without melasma, or dark spots.  Normal skin for the most part has a healthy hue and minimal pores and responds well to gentle beauty recipes and gentle exfoliation, such as my gentle exfoliating beauty recipe. (Photo Credit:

Gentle Exfoliant (courtesy of Natural Beauty, Hatherleigh Press/Random House 2013)

Just to understand the need to exfoliate, let’s talk about the build-up of dirt and oil on the skin’s surface and the need to remove dead skin cells.   Blackheads are an accumulation of dirt that has been sitting on the surface of your skin and has clogged the pores.  It’s important to use a facial cleanser first thing in the morning and again before bedtime.  Sour cream has a high value of lactic acid, which functions as a gentle exfoliant on your skin, removing dead skin cells as you cleanse your face.


1 teaspoon sweet almond oil

2 teaspoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon sour cream

Preparation & Application:

Mix oil ingredients with sour cream until whipped together.  Gently apply to your face, avoiding the eye area.  Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

          Oily skin presents as shiny, most often in the T-zone, which includes the forehead and the area between the eyebrows, nose, and chin.  Marked by larger pore size, oily skin has the tendency to acquire blackhead or whiteheads as the pores become clogged with dirt and oil.  Even some of the most gorgeous celebs deal with oily skin, and Angelina Joilie is not exempt.  She may be just as beautiful on the inside and she is on the outside, although this photo reveals more of a “glow”.

(Photo Credit:

Care for oily skin is slightly more involved in terms of cleansing.  It’s wise to also follow cleansing with a toner and a lightweight moisturizer to restore pH balance.  A clarifying mask from time to time is important as part of your skincare regiment.  Oily skin, however is less included to wrinkle as compared to normal skin or the next typology of skin, dry skin.

Dry skin presents as rougher to the touch and often appears dull or lackluster.  If you are experiencing dry skin, sunscreen is particularly valuable, because the damaging effects of the sun show in the form of fine lines and wrinkles appearing more readily.

Again, I do not subscribe to the notion of a typology of skin.  Although your skin may at times be oily or dry, you are not sentenced to the phrases oily skin or dry skin or any other terminology that embodies a permanent state of imperfections.  So, before you sew that scarlet letter O for “oily” on all of your washcloths, let’s respect the continuous evolution of our skin.

Tagged: exfoliant, skin, typology

About This Blog

Tips, remedies, recipes and more from beauty expert and author Elizabeth TenHouten


Author and beauty expert whose advice has appeared in national online and print publications, radio interviews, and television.
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